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Samurai madness from Takashi Miike. Plus, an insanely twisted game and a comic book that wrestles with big questions.

click to enlarge 13 Assasins
  • 13 Assasins

13 Assassins

Netflix´s “instant queue” added Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins to the line-up, and just in time. Netflix can only suggest tween movies to me so often before I’m forced to tackle the meaning of my existence. Then comes this gem, a film about 12 life-long samurai and one random guy they pick up (a more demented Jar Jar Binks) who agree to partake in a suicide mission against more than 200 men in order to kill one especially evil one. Miike is known best for making people want to vomit with disgust, and while this film does not lack in disturbing imagery, it’s easily one of his most tame.

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Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

Xbox Arcade has released a new triumph for download in the form of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet. If you consider yourself a gamer, and have yet to explore the downloadable arcade, here’s your chance. The gameplay is 2D side-scrolling, which is refreshing, as you pilot a little UFO through dark worlds full of engrossing puzzles and power-ups. Apparently the goal of the game is to save this somehow-infected heavenly body, but nobody cares.

What shines is the simplicity of the story, the lack of hand-holding, and the unique and detailed animations. It’s an attempt at originality in a business otherwise booming with lackluster sequels.

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Grant Morrison is one of the few comic book writers to usher the leotard-sporting heroes of decades past into our modern era. He’s perhaps most recognized for his creation of Batman: Arkham Asylum. It seems fitting, then, that Supergods, his first mainstream book, compares everything superheroes were and have become with our own humanity. Beginning with extensive origin stories and evolving into heavy themes of religion and sacrifice, Supergods weaves from storytelling to literary criticism. Deconstructing everything from mathematical placement of cover illustrations to our need for immortal benefactors, it reads well and ponders more.

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